5.16.2009

Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ 4WD Review




Timing is everything. Especially when it comes to money and demand.

So, as the economy as a whole, car sales in general and the SUV market in particular comes crashing down, it's more than a little disconcerting to walk out to the freshly-delivered Chevrolet Tahoe, reach in the glovebox, pull out the photocopied Monroney (the price sticker found in the window of all new cars) and find an as-equipped price of:

$58,635.

For a Chevy.

One that doesn't say "Corvette" on it.

Regular TireKicker readers know that I believe there is a legitimate need and place for fullsize SUVs and that the Suburban and Tahoe (really a shortened 'Burban) should be granted survivor status once the great shaekout is over and the former Starbucks-weilding soccer moms are behind the wheel of something smaller holding McCafe's. They are simply excellent vehicles of their type.

But $58,635 is crazy...even for the top of the line, which the LTZ is.

Base price for that trim line is $52,350 (almost $15,000 more than a base LS model)...and that buys you what would have been an unimaginable array of features in a Tahoe five years ago.


But GM loaded this one further...$4,790 for the "Sun, Entertainment and Destination" Package (navigation, upgraded audio system, rear seat DVD system and a sunroof); $1,095 to step up to the 6.2 liter V8 from the 5.3 liter (which drops the EPA city estimate from 14 miles per gallon to 12 and the highway figure from 20 to 19); $500 for 20" chrome clad wheels (the same size as the standard polished aluminums); and the non-negotiable $950 destination charge.

Yeah, GM figures in a $900 "package savings" for the "Sun, Entertainment and Destination" thing (otherwise, this would have bottom-lined at $59,535), but c'mon.
What we have here is a Chevy selling for just about $5,000 less than the base price of a Cadillac Escalade.

As GM lops of the heads of dealers to try to stop cannibalization within markets, they need to really consider how close Chevrolet can get to Cadillac both in terms of features and price-point.

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